Interviewer: How about Miranda Rights? Do you frequently hear, “The police are harassing me and didn’t read me my rights.” When do Miranda Rights help you, how can they help you, and when do they come into play?
Stuart Austin: What many people don’t understand is if the police are not going to take a statement from you, they actually don’t have to read you your Miranda Rights. This means if they are just processing you and putting you through the system and don’t want a statement from you, then the Miranda Rights are not necessary. Miranda Rights are only necessary when they’re going to talk to you.
In the example where I gave you before where we voluntarily surrendered our client on that sex case, we had sent a letter first, saying, “Do not speak with my client. An attorney represents him. He does not wish to speak to you. He is assessing both his 5th and 6th Amendment rights.” Therefore, since they got that letter, they could not speak to him because we had told them not to; they didn’t need to read him his Miranda Rights. It’s only when they want to get more information out of you that the authorities are compelled to read your Miranda Rights to you.
Interviewer: Your case isn’t going to be dismissed if the police don’t read you your rights?
Stuart Austin: If they haven’t read you your rights and we can prove that, and they’ve taken a statement from you, what will happen is the statement will later be suppressed by a judge. Their case, depending on what that statement is, will no longer have a confession or a statement from you. That case should be thrown out. It’s a punishment we give for them not following what they should have done.